Upload (2020) s02e02 – Dinner Party

Both Robbie Amell and Andy Allo spend this episode getting used to their new normals (without each other), with Allo having a much better time of it. She gets to hang out with new beau Paulo Costanzo, which means a bunch of flirting, but also finding out some of the Luds anti-digital afterlife plans.

Amell’s just got to suffer through fiancée Allegra Edwards throwing a dinner party; the audience now knows Edwards is lying to him about being dead. She’s just in a VR suit in her bathtub 24/7. She invites the worst people she can find around the place, letting Amell invite his poor friend Phoebe Miu for some contrast. Kevin Bigley’s there too, but he’d either be an Amell invite or as Vic Michaelis’s plus one. Michaelis is Edwards’s grandma, who spends her digital afterlife drunk and knocking boots with Bigley.

Michaelis also gets a conversation with fellow rich guest William B. Davis (as a Koch brother analog) about how much fun it is to be racist and how women getting the vote caused the Great Depression. Davis has some unlikely, seemingly empathetic ideas about the poors receiving a digital afterlife, too, surprising Amell and horrifying Edwards. Bigley gets it in his head there’s something to Davis’s interest concerning the big conspiracy against Amell (Amell having programmed a free digital afterlife and apparently murdered for it), but Amell’s too busy with the dinner party. Specifically the help.

In addition to Allo’s adventures with the Luds, the episode’s also got Zainab Johnson and her new sidekick, Mackenzie Cardwell, trying to keep up with Edwards’s demands for the dinner party. Edwards is just too much of a Karen for the AI to keep up with her; there are some great scenes for Owen Daniels, who plays all the in-world AI characters. When Cardwell enters the digital afterlife, she uses Allo’s existing avatar, sending Amell into conniptions.

While there are some funny faux pas moments for Amell and Cardwell Allo, it’s also some jarringly unlikable Amell for a while. Once he gets the identities sorted out, he gets really short–a complete reverse from when he doesn’t know and is falling over himself to pay attention to Cardwell Allo in front of Edwards. Although Amell told Edwards he’d had a digital afterlife fling last episode, it’s unclear if she knows it’s Allo.

Anyway.

They use Amell’s brief foray into unlikable as a character development arc, as well as a way to further establish Cardwell. Johnson’s got a great line about Amell being a “human bowl of oatmeal” who drives the other girls wild.

Meanwhile, the real Allo ends the episode getting even more involved with the Luds, specifically their plans for hacking the digital afterlife and leveraging her experience (and job) to do it.

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